One WNBA Player to be Recognized Each Month for their Excellence Off the Ccourt

WNBA Announces 14 Winners of Off-Season Community Assist Award

NEW YORK, May 29, 2003 – The WNBA today announced the 14 winners of its off-season Community Assist Award. One player was selected from each of the 14 WNBA teams to be honored for their work in the community throughout the off-season.

Since its inaugural season in 1997, WNBA teams and players have been known for their outstanding commitment to the community. Through programs such as WNBA Breast Health Awareness and WNBA Read to Achieve, the WNBA has helped to create a more comprehensive awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and worked to bring the joy of reading to millions of children across the country.

The 14 players honored for their off-season work are Andrea Stinson, Charlotte Sting; Helen Darling, Cleveland Rockers; Nykesha Sales, Connecticut Sun; Elaine Powell, Detroit Shock; Kelley Gibson, Houston Comets; Kelly Schumacher, Indiana Fever; Nikki Teasley, Los Angeles Sparks; Tamika Williams, Minnesota Lynx; Becky Hammon, New York Liberty; Kayte Christensen, Phoenix Mercury; Ticha Penicheiro, Sacramento Monarchs; Adrienne Goodson, San Antonio Silver Stars; Amanda Lassiter, Seattle Storm, and Kiesha Brown, Washington Mystics. The WNBA will donate $500 in the name of each off-season award winner to the charity of her choice.

Throughout the off-season, many WNBA players have remained in their adopted cities and continued to work with local schools, Boys & Girls Clubs and other community organizations. In addition to working closely with WNBA and team community outreach programs, WNBA players conducted numerous basketball clinics for local school children and at local recreational facilities, spoke with children about the importance of education and the role that reading can play in achieving their goals, and worked with local community groups to deliver food and gifts to shelters and hospitals during the holidays.

Throughout the 2003 WNBA season, the league will select one player from across the league for the monthly Community Assist Award. The WNBA will donate $5,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice.

The WNBA Community Assist Award is given out monthly by the league to recognize players for their charitable efforts. The award honors the WNBA player who reflects the passion that the league and its players have for their communities. All 14 WNBA teams are able to nominate a player for the award each month.

The WNBA, its teams and players are committed to programs that improve the quality of life for all people and has created and implemented programs that address important social issues, with a special emphasis on reading and online literacy initiatives for children. The WNBA and its 14 teams make a difference in North America through the WNBA Mind. Body. Spirit. and Read to Achieve programs, donations to charities and the implementation of community outreach initiatives, and through the production and airing of public service announcements.

Last week, the league launched a new program, called “WNBA Mind. Body. Spirit.,” which is the centerpiece of the league’s community and cause-related outreach programs. This initiative continues the WNBA’s leadership role in raising awareness and funds for breast health awareness and also introduces a new focus on the importance of good nutrition, regular exercise, and a positive self-image, all of which are critical to ensuring the health and welfare of the young girls and boys who make up a large part of the WNBA fan base.